Once again we have another WoT Console Q&A, taken straight from their latest development stream. Mostly keeping to actual development related questions. A more “official” version may come later as this is a straight transcription from the stream. If there is any new info there I’ll be sure to post. This time we have lead developer Jeff Gregg:
When will players see missing maps return? (A large number of maps had been removed do to a number of stated reasons, from player response to Xbox 360 memory limits).
- Maps. You know I feel your pain… I think right now we have 40 maps and over 80 if you count the variants, but I still understand if there’s maps that were in there that are not in there it never feels good to have something taken away, and we are working to get those maps back in. There is something I can tell you that’s being addressed as I talk and hopefully we can get out soon: As we looked into the current maps that are in there, we’re about to deploy a better distribution of the maps that are active in the game, to try to alleviate those people who may be seeing a lot of repeats… so not trying to poo-poo the answer or dodge the question, I don’t have an answer to say when, what I can say on what we got right now and we’re doing right now is trying to solve the problem of anybody who thinks they aren’t seeing enough of what is available.
On why those maps were removed: No new info. “Technicalities and design challenges regarding map size”
When can we get more emblem spots on tanks?
- Emblem spots, ok. Typically most tanks have two that are either left and right turret or left and right hull. It’s a bit of a misnomer because of the way we have to set up all of the tanks is that if you have multiple hulls or you have multiple turrets we have to set up positions to every one of that tank’s turrets and hulls, because if you upgrade something it really wouldn’t be acceptable for one of those to disappear. More is actually technically possible, we would just need to look at each individual module and find room and space to put all those things, so it would just take time. If there are certain tanks that are a higher priority to people that might be helpful, but not a promise that’d be a fast turnaround to put that stuff in. Another thing we need to remember is if we add even just one more emblem to every tank, thats actually 30 more emblems that need to be rendered on the field.
Is it possible we can get more camouflage patterns and solid camo colors?
- Short answers yes. Since camo is per nation and per season, though I know Urban isn’t a season, we would just have to pick which nation and which seasons, maybe all and all, and them implement them. So if there is a historically accurate RGBY value of your choice let us know.
Whats the word on Tier 9 and 10 premiums?
- “Nothing” as per PainGod (TJ Wagner)
Where are double cap assaults for the competitive scene?
- The double cap… it is something that is in our codebase from upgrades to PC, it’s just on the list to turn on… hopefully by the end of the year.
Can we get multiple zoom levels for the sniper view?
- Actually this is something we looked at before even the 360 launch, back when we were all young. We actually found that any system with a console controller that had three states automatically adds risk and potential confusion, because it’s our burden to tell the player which one they’re in. Unlike PC that has a keyboard you can configure we are fresh out of buttons. You could configure it to Zoom 1, Zoom 2, (hold) Zoom 3, but we found the two zoom was doing a whole job and we dialled back to that. We can reconsider that and figure if maybe an option is appropriate, but we’ve found that two is doing it’s job.
When will we see customizable attachments (aka “wiggly bits”), as mentioned in the last Q&A?
- No word at this time. It’s actually something that a Skyped PainGod about as we were waiting here.
Seeing as Xbox One has Arena’s as exclusive content, what kind of exclusives can PS4 users expect when it comes to tournaments?
- We’re working on getting parity with tournaments on PS4.
Given World of Tanks will have two direct competitors on PS4 (War Thunder and Armored Warfare), what is the motivation for players to keep playing World of Tanks which is limited to keeping content parity with the Xbox 360, and Xbox players getting tournaments?
- So… I love WoT in both ecosystems on all three consoles that it’s on. I’m also a huge fan both personally and professionally of competition. I think its what drives developers to make great things, and just as a consumer and gamer myself that pushes developers to be influenced and get better stuff. If you’re on the Xbox and PS4 and are enjoying our game, great, but if there’s something that you’re enjoying and feel is pulling you I’d like to know about it, but that doesn’t really influence any specific platform decision for us, it’s just “here is a neat thing somebody else is doing, does this influence us? Does this affect our system? Can we do better? Or what are we going to do about this?”
Will you ever redesign or expand Skorpion Pass to its original design on PS4?
- We will take look at Skorprion Pass. First look it seems in lower tiers the map may be favoring a team (as per. PainGod)
What’s the possibility of custom inscriptions in the game, especially since we know you have a dirty word filter?
- Dirty little secret, the reason the swear filter on Crew Customization was easier than inscriptions, was because those crew names would only be seen in the garage and two didn’t need to be made into a material thing that had to be put on every tank, but could be different on every inscription point on every tank. So that becomes a in-game memory concern.
Any news on the Replay System?
- Working on it. That’s all I got.
Can we get an update on when we’ll discontinue 360 support?
- As soon as nobody is playing with it. Honestly I look at the numbers playing 360, I play on 360. At the event we had last week I said ‘shout out to everybody who plays 360’, and everybody, well not everybody, started clapping wholeheartedly. If this is born out of some sort of anxiety that you have this hardware and love our game, rest easy, there are no plans. If it’s born from any other sort of motivation… rest easy, it’s sticking around.
When will we get environmental physics?
- There is an interesting thing. Not to get too technical, but the way the server handles the navigable surfaces for a tank that isn’t airborne, we’re looking to have dynamic surfaces, so say having a bridge buckle underneath you…. It’s not something we’re directly looking into, but we’re investigating systems that could make that possible.
New sounds? Things like shell casings falling and firing sounds based on caliber?
- We’re actually iterating that a bit on the sound system. We just got a new sound engine that I know our audio engineer was dancing in the streets about. But if you’re in sniper view you can hear the breech open and the shell fall depending on what tank you’re in. We can look into it more.
Have you considered looking into the command wheel? Such as having specific commands for specific modes?
- We actually have, one of the things about that is that you build something like muscle memory as a player, so when you change things we need to make sure those chages are communicable. For specific commands it’s a decision of ‘does it disappear?’ ‘is it greyed out?’ kind of like a small repair kit and the modules. Honestly we haven’t found anything that is so important that people would use it and we needed to bump up the count. Maybe for something like War Stories there might be something there.
What about Tier X lights?
- What about them? No comment.
How about a dynamic garage UI that shows the effect of various consumables and crew skills on a tank’s stats?
- That is something we’re looking into.
When is the next tank balance pass?
- So the next version of the game that’s coming out and just went into our stable branch, assuming you know what I’m talking about and who would blame you if you don’t… So where that is now, I would say it has above average and significant balance pass across quite a few of the tanks, I don’t want to say the majority to freak anybody out. We also, in between these major balance passes… two things about that, first we always look at our maps and tanks to see how we can make them better or more tuned or balanced as the case may be, and I don’t want to set the expectation of ‘here’s this major balance pass, here’s this official date we set’ we need to change a bunch of numbers for the sake of it, because that’s dangerous. We don’t want to be looking at something that’s ok and think ‘oh its major balance pass time let’s get in there’.
Are there plans for reusable consumables like on PC?
- There’s no plans for that, but we do have to where you can put something like two repair kits on your tank.
Will we ever see Italian tanks, even in the low tiers? It’d be nice to see some actual tanks and not just hypothetical ones.
- No comment…. We’re looking at a lot of cool tanks. Did you like that pause with the smile? There’s so much I would love to talk about. So many tanks coming down the line, whether it’s Hero tanks, variants, new tanks, you name it.
Could you give us the option to switch between the old (topographical) maps and the new color ones?
- There’s actually a pass on them in the next major build that should make them all better, but to be transparent it’s not going to revert to the old ones.
Is there a chance we can see the Challenger split into two: into the historically separate Challenger and the Avenger. They had distinctly different hulls and purposes.
- Sure, we’ll write that down… Though, everything we’re saying ‘make a note on’ is stuff we’ll investigate, not open promises of ‘give me a week and you got it’.
What’s the reason behind making reskin premiums instead of releasing brand new ones? Example, why release the ‘Senshi’ STA-2 (Consoles third STA-2 version) instead of the Object 252 U?
- People really seem to love our reskin tanks. I also think a lot of people aren’t fans, and you know what? Don’t buy them. They’re in a different pipeline than brand new tanks. I personally like them, and people seem to like and consume them.
When will the Czech commander voice be added to the game?
- It’s at this point I want to pat myself on the back for not swearing so far in the stream, because what I almost said rhymes with ‘duck’. We’re fixing that.
Any plans to give artillery a nerf or stun mechanic?
- I think I talked about this before on another stream, I remember because somebody let me have it in the live chat when we voiced our opinions on it… We’ve looked at it and also with feedback that we’ve gotten, the stun mechanic basically is good for the PC version of the game, but for the console version I think is going to remove fun from everybody. Because here’s what’s going to happen: I’m an arty, I’m used to if I role the dice right and there’s a guy in an open area even though he knows arty is on the enemy team, that I’m going to land a shot on top of them right now because he didn’t move because he chose not to move, or he had Sixth Sense and knew he was sensed, or saw Detected, or maybe he just got unlucky, he’s going to blow up, and I’m going to go “Yeah!” and he’s going to be kinda angry. What I think happens with the stun is I fire of a shell, the guy gets stunned, and I kinda go “Eh, ok, at least he’s stunned, go get him”. It relies on team play for the team to wolfpack that guy while he’s stunned, and I’ll put it to you guys if you’re not in a platoon or a large platoon how often does everybody go “Yeah, I’m going to cover your back, arty”. As arty players how often does that happen? Maybe it happens greater than I’m anticipating? And now that guy that got hit with the stun round is basically setting there with his chassis cut off, sitting there waiting for a meter to refill while everybody whittles away at him. It just doesn’t seem like anybody is having fun with that mechanic. We’ll still look at it, it just raises a lot of concerns.
When can we see Pilsen from PC?
- TBD, I honestly can’t say ‘Soon’ when we’re still fighting the previous map issue.
Will we ever see Personal Missions from PC?
- We’re not working on that right now, we’re working on the objectives and rewards from War Stories, and keeping the Op system healthy. So that’s not something being worked on at this time/
Any updates on Xbox/PS4 cross-play?
- Quick verison: I’d love to do it, it’s out of my hands. We could try to be rebellious and do it anyway, but they (Microsoft and Sony) would probably try to sue us, both of them! Lets not do that.
What is the possibility of adding a practice range to test tank upgrades before buying or grinding for them?
- That’s an interesting idea, we’ll look into it… no promises though, because that can be super complicated and open a can of worms. The game does not like it when you have a vehicle in play that you don’t own.
When can we see a matchmaking limit of one or two artillery per team?
- That’s a matchmaking question, we’ll look into that too.
Since Console is set on not following exactly in PC’s steps, can we have more constant micro updates to tank balance rather than waiting for sweeping balance changes, and having unbalanced tanks roam around for ages? For example the disparity between FV4005 and the FV215b 183.
- We’ll take a look at those two specific tanks, and again we’re constantly combing our analytics looking for outliers in either direction: either terrible tanks or too amazing tanks, too see what we can do about it.
Is there a timeframe on the new German heavy line?
- It’s coming in exactly I can’t talk about it.
On the newest chapter of WoT Console’s PvE War Stories mode (short version):
- So Sea Lion is our third active War Story. You’re thrown into the shoes of Edwards, who is in a Cromwell, who has to defend the United Kingdom and London at the start against an alternate history German invasion of the UK, and you need to push them off the island within the three chapters. It’s pretty exciting, at least to me, because I really enjoy… this isn’t quite fantasy, it’s based off an actual plan that the Germans had considered, they just never executed upon. So this is kind of a “what if” scenario. What if this had gone down? What if the Americans hadn’t come in? Would that have influenced this decision or not, and what would it have looked like had this happened?… What we really start with when we do a War Story that’s based off of alternate history is like “what would this have looked like” or “who are the people involved”, “what would the tanks be”, “what would the dates be”… for all of these things, and the start is almost literal alt history and almost treating it like a historical event, then from there we actually look into how to make a three chapter War Story cool, and something you would enjoy playing multiple times and that’s where the console shootery things come in, so with the actual tanks that this would have taken place with, would their be a better choice, would there be a better engagement. Fun fact with Sea Lion, the plan was originally a Valentine, which was probably a bit closer to when this could have occurred, but as we played it out and looked at the different missions, especially chapter two which is actually pretty big and has was you can figure out how to solve it, we figured that the Cromwell was a better choice for this. We play tested that and that seemed to be better in terms of mobility, defence, armament and upgrades… Then what enemies would you fight there, how would they get to the shores of the United Kingdom and England? What tanks existed at this time, and was it ok if some of them didn’t? So we get all of that assembled, do the stories, the little intro animation and the outro to give you context so that narratively you feel that you’re grounded in something fun that is happening, plus all the VO’s in chapters… all so it’s not like “hear, read this novel and then go play”, because we could go super in-depth, and we had this super-complex stuff that had the design staff looking at each other “Why? What? What are we doing here?” so it was like “Ok, if we can’t tell each other, there’s no way we’re going to communicate in the method we picked to the players. Lets refine it”… For Sea Lion, fun fact, it was actually the very first idea we had when it came for War Stories, and it took the longest to cook because we had to analyse all of the ways you could play it. There’s multiple factors… and that one kind of slowed down as we lifted the other three stories… 4 or 6 months.